January 8, 2018 2:30 PM, EST
Pizza Hut Working With Toyota to Test Driverless Pizza Delivery
Toyota says its e-Palette concept vehicle will be fully autonomous, battery-electric vehicle with open control interface to allow partner companies to install their own automated driving system.

Toyota and Pizza Hut announced Jan. 8 a “global partnership,” that could see Pizza Hut pizzas delivered in autonomous vehicles designed and built by Toyota.

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, Toyota unveiled designs of a self-driving concept vehicle called e-Palette. Toyota plans to implement testing of the e-Palette in several regions, including the United States.

Pizza Hut and Toyota are working toward potential deployment in 2019.

Details on how the vehicles would work were not immediately available.

Pizza Hut, the nation’s largest pizza chain, is one of the founding members of a new “mobility service business alliance” that also includes Amazon, Didi, Mazda and Uber.

Major pizza chains have been eagerly watching developments in the self-driving space for years, as they look to boost sales through increased delivery. One challenge had been how to handle the actual delivery once the pizza arrives on site.

In August, Domino’s Pizza and Ford Motor Co. launched what they called an “ industry-first collaboration to understand the role that self-driving vehicles can play in pizza delivery.”

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